Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 11:00 UK

Deluged town getting flood wall

Bell Lane, Uckfield in 2000
A lifeboat was used to rescue people in Bell Lane, Uckfield in 2000

Work on building a flood wall to protect an East Sussex town is getting under way this week.

The Environment Agency said the wall would protect about 30 properties and would have prevented seven out of nine floods to hit Uckfield since 1960.

The agency said the town was prone to flooding because of its location, and extensive building on a floodplain.

Work on the flood defences is due to start on Wednesday and is set to be finished by the autumn.

'Big improvement'

Environment Agency team leader Ian Nunn said funding from central government for Uckfield's flood defences had not been available because other towns and cities had faced a higher flood risk.

He said a levy on the local authorities was raised to pay for the wall.

He added: "This project will offer a big improvement to the town's defences, although it does not solve the problem of flooding in the town."

In the October 2000 floods, about 18 homes and 115 businesses were flooded and lifeboats were called in to rescue people from the high street.

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